IRVINE, CA—The Orange County office market continues to tighten as significant amounts of space is absorbed, as reported last week in an interview with Jeff Ingham, senior managing director with JLL. With vacancy rates decreasing and rental rates increasing, is the region becoming a landlord's market once again? Here's more from our interview with Ingham. Is Orange County becoming a landlord's market once again?

Ingham: It's balanced. It's not absolutely a landlord's market. There are a lot of things that go into that. When I think of a landlord's market, it's truly a situation where you have no options. We had that in 2005: if you were a tenant looking for a two-floor space in the Airport area, there were no buildings with two contiguous floors available. That was truly a landlord's market, where tenants were trying to squeeze into certain spaces and there were multiple offers on space. We're really not seeing that yet. Large blocks of space are going away, and the market is slightly tighter, but there are still options in the market, especially 50,000 square feet or below. A lot of those places have been vacant for years. The landlords in those instances are pursuing tenants aggressively, especially if they're credit tenants. We're also seeing a lot more companies giving back space as they renew their leases. A lot of companies are sitting on shadow or vacant space.

We are also seeing more construction on tenant improvements. If a space was built-out 10 years ago, it doesn't meet the Millennial generation's requirements, so tenants are building-out in the major markets. A major trend is less square footage per employee and getting rid of shadow space. So companies are technically reducing their footprint, and we will probably see a fair amount of that space in the next couple of years. Companies are healthy and growing, but they're doing more with less. There's also this whole Valeant/Allergan situation that's going to have a big impact on the market as well. Rick Sharga of


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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.